Spectators watch fireworks from Jones Park in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Wednesday July 4, 2012. The park has been almost completely rebuilt since being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Happy Independence Day

By The BDN Editorial Board on July 03, 2015, at 9:21 a.m.
Two-hundred thirty-nine years ago, representatives in the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and adopted their Declaration of Independence. It expressed frustration and anger with the policies of Great Britain and its king. It argued eloquently for the fundamental, universal rights of those who are governed. It emphatically conveyed the determination …
Residents in favor of a move to carve out the new town of Lyndon from Caribou wore buttons to display their support during a public hearing on the secession effort in June.

Paying for services is what it means to be part of a community

By The BDN Editorial Board on July 02, 2015, at 10:57 a.m.
A lengthy document put together by a group that wants to secede from the city of Caribou neatly summarizes a tension that has sprung up across the state: Rural residents believe they are unfairly being made to support the more developed parts of the state, and they resent it. “We …
Husband and father Jerome Muhirwa, 39, was a college teacher in his native Burundi. He spent two years seeking asylum and permission to work in Maine after fleeing government persecution at home.

Maine should take a stand for its future, support asylum seekers

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 30, 2015, at 2:24 p.m.
Calling it “illegal alien welfare,” the LePage administration remains determined to keep asylum seekers in Maine from getting General Assistance benefits. The Legislature has passed a fix, but the governor is sure to veto it. The amended version of LD 369 would allow immigrants seeking asylum to be eligible for …
A nun reads Pope Francis' new encyclical on June 18 at the Vatican.

Caring for Earth is a humanitarian necessity, not a political statement

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 29, 2015, at 2:21 p.m.
The oddest criticism of Pope Francis’ lengthy document calling on Catholics and others to take better care of the planet is that the pope should stay out of political matters. Whether the planet is warming and being polluted beyond its capacity to recover is not a political matter but one …
Gov. Paul LePage flies an F-35 Lightning II simulator at a Pratt & Whitney employee appreciation event in North Berwick on Aug. 9, 2013.

LePage must remember words can influence, violence is never a joke

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 27, 2015, at 10:42 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage has never hidden his dislike for the media. That’s not what bothers us. Given the wide range of people and institutions he also seems to dislike, we’re in good company. What disturbs us is the callousness and carelessness with which the governor singles out a trade and …
Jim Obergefell (right) shakes hands with a supporter as he walks out of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, June 18, 2015.

Marriage ruling paves way for future, unknown civil rights struggles

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 27, 2015, at 9:38 a.m.
A court opinion isn’t the first place most look to for linguistic beauty. But those seeking pleasant prose might want to read the Supreme Court’s majority opinion released Friday, which found that states were required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Not only will readers find an affirmation of …
Mt. Kineo which was acquired through the Land for Maine's Future Program in 1990, rises out of Moosehead Lake in a photo taken in 2007.

Lawmakers must hold firm to put Land for Maine’s Future back on track

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 26, 2015, at 7:37 a.m.
Lawmakers have taken strong stands on two important issues in recent weeks, pushing back against an obstinate governor to put two programs — Land for Maine’s Future and Efficiency Maine — back on track. We’d like to see lawmakers continue to stand firm against a governor who is demonstrating no …
Gov. Paul LePage testifies at a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., in May.

The attorney general should investigate whether LePage broke the law

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 25, 2015, at 5:55 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage has shown time and again that he has a dangerously expansive view of the powers of his office. He has shown, in the process, that he has a dangerously loose interpretation of the message voters sent by re-electing him last November. Now, in reportedly threatening to withhold …
(L to R) U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts applauds as Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan look prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in in this Washington, Feb. 12, 2013, file photo.

Answer to Supreme Court case on gay marriage is in Constitution

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 24, 2015, at 4:21 p.m.
When the lawyers on opposing sides of the same-sex marriage cases pending before the Supreme Court took their arguments to the nine justices in late April, the conversation took a turn toward the ancient. “Every definition that I looked up, prior to about a dozen years ago, defined marriage as …
The Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta

What the VA should do for Maine vets who don’t get timely care

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 23, 2015, at 1:24 p.m.
A year ago, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was consumed by scandal that shook the public’s confidence in the nation’s largest integrated health care system and prompted the agency’s leader to resign. In Phoenix, the VA’s inspector general revealed 1,700 veterans were on a secret, off-the-books waitlist for medical …
Tom Shuford and his wife have helped Randall Daluz, who was convicted of murdering three people then setting their bodies on fire, put together a website and give him religious counseling on the redemptive power of religion.

Free speech may be limited for prisoners, but not taken away

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 22, 2015, at 1:24 p.m.
Like many inmates before him, Randall Daluz, convicted of murdering three people, says he has found God, and he wants to share his insights with others. Working through a Christian couple who visit inmates at the Penobscot County Jail, Daluz’s writings are currently shared on his website, The Journal of …
A general view of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington June 15. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an effort by Iraq to revive a lawsuit against dozens of companies for allegedly conspiring with former leader Saddam Hussein's government to subvert the U.N. oil-for-food program and deprive Iraqi citizens of humanitarian aid.

The Supreme Court’s Obamacare reading lesson: What 4 words mean to millions

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 21, 2015, at 11:31 a.m.
The four words “established by the state” could come to mean the difference between affordable health insurance and no insurance to millions of people in the coming days. Those 6.4 million people probably never suspected four words could determine whether they can afford a doctor’s visit and have to put …
June 17 marked the 130th anniversary of the arrival of the Statue of Liberty in America.

Immigrant debate shows we’ve lost sight of Lady Liberty’s message

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 19, 2015, at 10:38 a.m.
Wednesday marked the 130th anniversary of the arrival of the Statue of Liberty in America. A gift from the French, the 305-foot statue, officially called “Liberty Enlightening the World,” was meant as a symbol of freedom. A poem by Emma Lazarus is inscribed on a tablet at the base of …
U.S. President Barack Obama, with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi at his side, walks from a meeting room on June 12 in Washington, D.C.

Maine’s representatives, senators were right to rebuff Obama’s trade plea

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 18, 2015, at 12:22 p.m.
The long-discussed and long-negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement has encountered major hurdles in Congress, putting one of President Barack Obama’s top second-term priorities in doubt — and for good reason. The U.S. has spent nearly six years hashing out the sweeping trade agreement with 11 other nations. Together, the …
The State House in Augusta stands lighted against the night sky.

Is this the best budget a divided government can produce?

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 16, 2015, at 3:46 p.m.
When leaders introduce a plan by reiterating compromise means not everyone will like everything that was negotiated, you know the deal is far from perfect. So it is with a state budget, negotiated behind closed doors, that legislative leaders unveiled — and then rushed to the House floor — on …
Students at the Miles Lane School in Bucksport participate in the Smarter Balanced field test on April 28, 2014.

Maine is wrong to abandon Smarter Balanced, but it can choose its next test responsibly

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 15, 2015, at 11:54 a.m.
Maine is making an all-too-sudden run for the exit after just one year of a new standardized test. A bill that would have Maine withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the multistate group that developed the computer-based math and English test Maine students took this spring, has made its …
Protesters defend the homeless in front of the Bangor Police Department on Monday, June 8.

Bangor Police Department shouldn’t pass judgment on panhandlers

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 13, 2015, at 1:24 p.m.
The Bangor Police Department has become a public agency with national renown in the past year, as it has deployed its work of taxidermy, the “Duck of Justice,” around the city with officers on patrol and shared its adventures on the department’s Facebook page. That Facebook page has more than …
The Penobscot County Jail as seen on May 12.

Coordinated jail system needs work but shouldn’t be abandoned

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 12, 2015, at 6:48 a.m.
While it is discouraging that lawmakers have failed to find a way to improve the state’s broken county jail system, the fact that they have not abandoned a coordinated, statewide system offers hope. For a variety of reasons, a unified jail system has not been given a chance to work. …
Atlantic cod caught as part of a research survey.

Local control needed to help fish rebound, but House fisheries bill missed the boat

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 11, 2015, at 1:44 p.m.
New England cod fishermen have been subject to increasingly restrictive catch limits in recent years as the famed Atlantic cod has struggled to recover from a history of overfishing in the Gulf of Maine and, now, warming waters that have forced the species northeast in search of more hospitable environs. …
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington on June 8, 2015.

Will LePage take any lessons from his legal schooling?

By The BDN Editorial Board on June 10, 2015, at 2:04 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage has determined certain Maine residents in need are priorities when it comes to awarding state assistance and that others clearly are not. Accordingly, he and his administration have made budgeting for the state’s range of public assistance and human services programs a zero-sum game: If “able-bodied” adults …
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